Musescore 4 super super slow on big orchestral projects

• May 18, 2024 - 01:27

Am I the only one experiencing a very slow and jamming Musescore. it's so stressing to work on. I'm working on a 4 minute orchestral track with added band singers and choir, every time I progress more through the orchestration, the software gets slower and slower and also jams for a few seconds many many times. It's so annoying to work on. (I am using the new muse sounds of course with the added reverb that comes as a preset already with it)

I am wondering is it my computer that is slow, or is it that the musescore team needs to do something for the software to have a faster work flow?

my system:

Windows 11
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-10750H CPU @ 2.60GHz 2.59 GHz
32 GB Ram


Everyone's system is different. Some people with your problem have only to go to Edit>Preferences>I/O and raise the Buffer to 4096. There are other settings that deal with your audio device. If you post your score, we can better help you.

In reply to by bobjp

I have tried the buffer size 4096 it didn't work well, and i also lowered down the volume in the mixer a couple of db at least and let the mixer open and unchecked the box exclusive mode, but still i'm facing same problems. It's getting really annoying, it's slowing down my writing process and really getting on my nerves. I prefer not to share this specific score for now (specially that the client whom I'm working for doesn't want people to see it for now)

In reply to by bobjp

no, on this specific audio interface it's greyed out. on my other one which i have at my day job I can select the arrow next to the bit rate and downsize it to 16. As for the second question didn't quite get what you mean, but I'm assuming the answer would be no it does not have to do with the DAW

In reply to by bobjp

yes I'm on the playback tab. I've adjusted everything as asked, but writing is always slow, slowing my writing by a stack of minutes which is resulting I guess into hours of lost work because of this issue. Musescore team needs to fix this issue, it's so frustrating. One might decide to switch to another software because of this issue

In reply to by Joseph.Zayoun

On this github pull request page for M4, find the artifact at the bottom for Windows. Download it (you may need to create a github account if you don't have one). Try it out. It is built on M4.4 and is designed for Jack audio/midi transport interface. You don't need Jack. It should work without Jack, but one significant feature is that it functions in a 24bit 48000 sample rate:

In reply to by Joseph.Zayoun

The pull request is for the implementation of Jack Audio and MIDI transport capability. The Jack Audio Server is a native Linux (but also cross platform) audio server that synchronizes MIDI transport (playback) across a system with other Jack aware applications. It is similar to the ReWire platform that Windows and Mac users employ to synchronize multiple applications like video players, notation editors and digital audio workstations for the purpose of film scoring or complex session management. MuseScore 3 had this capability but it was lost in the release of M4. This pull request implements the synchronization features that were lost. You will not likely be interested in this particular feature, but what the pull request also enables is a default awareness of your system's bit and sample rates. Jack Audio Server runs by default at 48000, so this pull request needs code to assign the system sample rate at startup. Even though you are not using Jack, it should open in the proper sample rate for your system because of this code. You can also change the sample rate in the settings 'playback' menu, although it may only list the current sample rate of the system in the dropdown.

So... the short story is that while this pull request addresses a complex issue that you are not likely to use, it also may address a simple one (default/dynamic sample rate) that you seem to be having trouble with.

In reply to by cfirwin3

ok done. seems to work better. but still im not home to try it out on a longer writing session and with my midi controller. Hope this would solve a lot of issues.

in the i/o section in preferences the sample rate is blank but I'm assuming it's adjusting to 24 bits right?

One more question, if I saved files to this version would it reopen in musescore 4.3? and does this version have some big bugs or so?

In reply to by Joseph.Zayoun

On my system (Which is a most current Linux distro release), this pull request build replaces "i/O" in preferences with "Playback". Under the playback menu it shows "Audio Device", "Sample Rate", "Buffer Size". While the "Sample Rate" drop down is blank, my distro does show 48000 in the un-selected field, which is the default sample rate of my system. If I change my system to 44100, when I open this build, that field will say 44100. So, I would say that if your install is playing sounds, then it must be in the correct sample rate, as designed.

As for reverse compatibility, I would guess that there will be issues there. You will want to save a copy of your file to test this out.

Regarding bugs... I'm sure that there are bugs, but this has been the only build that I have been writing on for months and I see no need for the master trunk in my work right now. I am writing a lot of film score, so I need the transport capabilities. All of my machines seem to deal equally with this build and I have had no issues with it. Be aware that this is a pull request, so if you go to update to the latest release from github, sometimes you will get a bad build. Always keep the most recent good build on hand if you go to "upgrade". Since this is constructed on M4.4, you will notice that it has a bunch of new features that may not exist in M4.3. I have found, however, that the muse sounds work perfectly well, as managed by Muse Hub (or the separate Muse Sounds Manager that us Linux folks use).

In reply to by Joseph.Zayoun

Also, maybe you mentioned this elsewhere, but I didn't see it... I know that you can't share the file. I have some film scores that are contractually bound from early release, so I completely understand. But, approximately how many measures are we talking for your 'longer writing sessions' and what is the instrumentation (full symphonic)?
Truth be told, I had a harder time with M3 and super long scores than I have with M4. I haven't noted any lag related to score length in M4, but I don't know that my super long scores are a good comparison to your super long scores. I have files that are a few hundred measures in full symphonic instrumentation. But scores can certainly be longer than that, especially if they are multi-movement works and all movements are part of the same file. I'm just curious as to your context, if you don't mind sharing.

In reply to by cfirwin3

this current score that I'm writing is 118 meausures (well not super long, but longer than shorter one I used to write, with which I used to also experience some slowing down problems). My score is comprised of full symphonic orchestra with added auxiliary woodwinds (piccolo english horn bass clarinet contrabassoon) added band (drums bass guitar piano) 4 vocals and a double staff choir and a harp. It's a vocal work basically

In reply to by Joseph.Zayoun

That's a pretty dense instrumentation, but M4 should be able to handle that. I'm pretty sure that you are experiencing an audio system compatibility problem rather than a self-contained Musescore / Muse Sounds issue. Hopefully this build will address the issue. I also know that Linux has a command line option for the audio server to target M4 in the correct sample rate, but I don't know if that would be an option for Windows. It seems to me that M4 really needs to have the capability to dynamically open in the current audio server sample rate... this pull request gets us there.

Post the score. I use Basic sounds on ubuntu with 32Gb RAM, SSD and an i7 7700K processor and I'd be interested to see if it's just as slow on my system or not.

OS: Ubuntu 22.04.4 LTS, Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore Studio version (64-bit): 4.3.0-241231431, revision: 5f36e74

In reply to by underquark

I understand your desire for you to try it out on your system, but for the time being this specific score can't be published right now as I mentioned in a previous response. But I think that any orchestral score while writing selecting and note inputting (not from the beginning but through out the process when it's a bit loaded) would do this issue and not during playback. Playback would sometimes start emptier that it should be (playing less instruments than the ones already scored) and then coming in late, due to this issue

In reply to by Joseph.Zayoun

Agreed. On Linux, I have had massive scores work flawlessly. M4 does run only in 44100 right now (except for the Jack Audio PR branch which will run at 48000). I would recommend adjusting your sound card settings, as you mentioned. The master trunk for M4 will not playback properly unless the audio server is at 44100.

However, this problem is universal and has nothing to do with large scores. If you are finding that this only occurs with large scores, there may be an issue with how your systems processor/memory is treating M4 data.
For me, I can get flawless results on one of my laptops with a core i5, 8g ram and an SSD (pretty basic for home computing). I would be shocked if M4 development is favoring Linux over mac/win. The complaints have largely been to the contrary, that development for Linux is under served at the core development level.

In reply to by Joseph.Zayoun

When I said that my computer is comparable to yours, I meant that I'm running Windows 11 with roughly the same capacity as you reported.

I don't know what the "Audio interface's bitrate at the scoring stage" means???

If it's what you're talking about, in the Sound applet of the Control Panel, the Default Format (the "sample rate and bit depth to be used when running in shared mode") has the following options:

2 channel, 16 bit, 44100 Hz
2 channel, 24 bit, 44100 Hz
2 channel, 16 bit, 48000 Hz
2 channel, 24 bit, 48000 Hz

I am set to the default value: the last (2 channel, 24 bit, 48000 Hz). I've never needed to change that.

If you're talking about something else, describe it?

Musescore 3 was faster and lag-free than Musescore 4 onwards. However, to utilize the latest features you may want to use the latter which comes at a cost.

Joseph, How many KB's is your score. I'm trying to create a big score by doubling one of my own. So far it is 200 KB.

In reply to by bobjp

it's 1.26 mb but I had smaller scores of around 400 kbs 500 kbs that used to move a bit slow while writing. I'm using big instrumentation for this one it's comprised of full symphonic orchestra with added auxiliary woodwinds (piccolo english horn bass clarinet contrabassoon) added band (drums bass guitar piano) 4 vocals and a double staff choir and a harp. It's a vocal work basically. the smaller ones were without choir and only for one vocal and without the auxiliary woodwinds, just symphonic orchestra and band plus vocal and a harp

In reply to by Joseph.Zayoun

The score I'm trying to make bigger is now 677KB. 35 staves Orchestral instruments and percussion. 279 measures. All parts doubled from a smaller score. The original score tripled in length. I input notes with a mouse. Midi keyboard entry may differ.
This score loads and responds as quickly as any other score. But, of course, it isn't you score on your system.

In reply to by bobjp

I suspect that there is a greater issue with a diversity of instrumentation (re: the play engine and sample sets used) than with file size. This means that a file could be massive, with a lot of notation data and a sizable length... but if the instrumentation is relatively tight, it may not have speed/playback issues as it is calling on few resources. If you want to max out the environment, I would start by loading in a full symphonic template and then adding everything to the project to see what happens (include the proverbial "kitchen sink"... choir, aux. percussion, double/triple instrument instances with their own staves, etc.)
I have not had these kinds if issues, but I can envision a system load scenario where a lot of different instrumentation would consume processing power, especially if everything is playing at once. Some instruments seem to take more power anyway. In the early releases of M4, certain instruments would crash everything just by playing too many rapid notes (ehem... timpani).

In reply to by cfirwin3

I am using the muse sounds for anything that is available according to the orchestra and band im writing for. I don't know if it's a muse sound issue, but I do use BBCSO Core on cubase and the workflow is faster, Muse sounds are smaller in size. I don't know exactly what's the problem. Shouldn't be a RAM issue I suspect. (I have 32GB)

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.